Review: Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready
Shine (Shade #3)
by: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed from Library
Page Count: 399 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Wow, this book. No, this SERIES. There just aren't words to fully express how I am feeling right now. But, for review's sake, I will try.
Shade introduced us to the Aura's world, a world where there are pre-shifters and post-shifters (ones who can see ghosts and those who can't). We started this trilogy out with incredible heartbreak, as Aura loses her first love Logan to a tragic accident. However, instead of passing on and leaving Aura and his loved ones to grieve, Logan becomes a ghost, who Aura, her best friend Megan, and his younger brother Dylan, can still see. Now, Aura is torn between helping Logan pass on, and keeping him with her as her source of comfort. But while we were hurting for Aura and everyone else who loved Logan, we also found hope. Aura is still young, and though she is clearly wrecked over losing Logan, she finds solace in Zachary, and as he helps her uncover the mystery of her mother, he also helps her begin to move on from her grief over Logan. Shift delves deeper into Aura's world, giving us some much needed answers about the Shift, Aura's family, and also the connection her and Zachary have. It was filled with emotional highs and lows, that drove me, the reader, CRAZY, but ended up resolving quite nicely before the start of the final book.
Shine picked up right where the previous book left off, and wow, Smith-Ready does not hold back. This whole trilogy was based on tragedy and it seems the main characters can't catch a break for a second before being thrust into the latest situation. This book is definitely more action-packed than the others and we hit the ground running from the first page.
I loved the growth of the characters in this book. Zachary, who has been strong and steadfast, is seriously rocked to the core after what happens to him. In his place, we see someone who is broken, and who is struggling to be put back together again. He is by far my favorite character in the series and I love how Smith-Ready ties in the events to this book into her previous ones. One such instance is where in book one, their mentor gives them two mugs: she gives Zachary the mug for strength, and Aura the one for love. However, Zachary ends up switching their mugs, so Aura can have the strength one, as he knows that is what she will need. This idea really plays into this book, but I won't give anymore information than that.
Aura has also grown up in this book and is forced to be strong, even when she doesn't feel it. I love that for the previous two books, she has leaned on Zachary and now they balance each other perfectly, because now he needs to lean on her. You really can't help but hate how much pain and anguish Smith-Ready has put her characters through. However, the old saying 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' definitely applies to this book.
Zachary and Aura's romance is what really made this book for me. In Shift, we definitely saw the hotness and the steam between them, and here in Shine we see just how much these two truly do love each other. Don't worry- there is still plenty of hotness and steaminess in this book! We just also see the tenderness and adoration these two have for each other.
We finally learn the back story in this book about Aura's mom, Zachary's dad, and the Shift, through Aura's mom's journals in this book. Smith-Ready does a great job of tying up loose ends and resolving the DMP conflict.
Sigh. I could probably keep going, but wow this is already long enough. Overall, if you love a good love story (with a bit of a love triangle) paired with the paranormal, this series is definitely worth checking out.